A man claiming to be “Lord Maitreya” present­ed his credentials as the messiah before 200 media rep­resentatives and world leaders at an April 21-22 conference in London, according to the Tara Center of Los Angeles.

But Lynne Craft, spokeswom­an for the organization founded by British New Age author Ben­jamin Creme, declined to say where the meeting took place and who the 200 conference participants were. She did say a member of a royal family and a Christian church bishop attended, along with various dignitaries and members of the intelligentsia.

Craft added that the man, who claims to be the “World Teacher” — the Maitreya Bud­dha, the Messiah, the main Mahdi, or the Christ — present­ed his credentials and astounded some of the conference-goers by “appearing, then disappearing.” “He dematerialized in front of people,” she said.

Asked why the so-called “his­toric conference” had not been reported in any prominent newspapers (by press time), Craft maintained that the timing of the release of the journalists’ stories was up to them. She said that of the 200 attending the conference with “Lord Maitreya,” about 50 were reporters.

According to a Tara Center advertisement published in newspapers throughout the U.S. in early April announcing the “historic global conference,” “Maitreya has come as a spiritu­al teacher, primarily to inspire humanity to rebuild the world justly and fairly…His stimulus already underlies the freedom movement in Europe and Asia.”

The advertisement claims that “Maitreya’s forecasts of world events, from the Armeni­an earthquake, the British Poll Tax revolt, to the freeing of Nel­son Mandela, have been released over the past two years and are still being released to the public. The April conference is a prelude to Declaration Day [the date has not been revealed], when Maitreya will present His credentials to humanity itself.”

Such proclamations are remi­niscent of a previous advertise­ment (April 1982) which Creme’s organization paid $200,000 to place in prominent newspapers worldwide. It boldly announced, “THE CHRIST IS NOW HERE.” Creme followed that advertisement with a press conference in which he pro­claimed that Maitreya would appear before the end of spring. (Creme’s announcement created a sensation and alarm in some quarters of the church, with sev­eral authors claiming that the Antichrist of the Bible was about to be revealed.)

Since that time, Creme has been vague as to the identity of Maitreya and has urged reporters to try to find him for themselves. According to an August 18, 1986 interview pub­lished in the (Grand Rapids) Michigan Press, Creme claims that “for thousands of years Maitreya has lived in the Himalayas, in the mountain center which is about 17,500 feet up.” On July 8, 1977 he allegedly descended in a “self-created body” and has been since living in the Asian-Indian community in the east end of London, in what’s called the Brick Lane area.

In a telephone interview, Craft would not give the name Maitreya has assumed, but said it is the Asian equivalent of “Mr. Smith” in the English language, meaning that it was an ordinary-sounding name.

The Tara Center, through its publications — the Network News and Share International — has been tying in alleged appearances of Maitreya in Africa with alleged mysterious appearances of crosses of light in Louisiana and California. The organization has also been mail­ing out black and white pho­tographs to reporters of a white-gowned man they claim is the Lord Maitreya as he has appeared in Africa.

But Craft said the man in those pictures (which have been published in the National Enquirer and other publications) does not necessarily look like the one who appeared in Lon­don. “He appears in a form that will inspire recognition immedi­ately,” she said.

Asked how she knows she is not being fooled by a man claiming to be Maitreya, Craft replied: “People either respond to it or they don’t. It’s not a dog­matic matter…. If it has the ring of truth to it you may accept it, you may not have to.”

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